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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago today in Spokane: Girl shot by Halloween pranksters

 (SR Archives)
(SR Archives)

From our archive, 100 years ago

Halloween prank complaints were “relatively few,” said the paper — yet “relatively” was the operative word, and several “pranks” were shockingly serious.

In the worst incident, Viola Plaas, 10, went outside to “disperse several boys bent on Halloween pranks.” One of the boys responded by shooting her with a rifle and running off. The bullet hit her in the right corner of the mouth, but fortunately it did not penetrate her cheek. She was recovering.

Police found the rifle where the boy had dropped it. It was no mere BB rifle. It was described as a Krag-Jorgenson rifle “with sufficient power to imbed bullets in a hard wood board.” Police were questioning the boys.

In other Halloween incidents:

  • Boys released the brakes of a train car full of lumber. It careened down the tracks for five blocks before it derailed.
  • Three boys were arrested in the act of overturning an outbuilding.
  • A woman said boys tore down her fence and she could hear boys laughing about it. She was unable to chase them away.
  • Some “rascals” came through a gate and tore down two flags and a man’s campaign signs, which were for the “straight Republican ticket.” The homeowner, an Army veteran, said he had five guns in his house and he “felt like shooting the miscreants, but was prevented by lack of ammunition.”
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